Journey back to simpler times with a trip to Pleasure Pier on Galveston Island, where you and your family can ride carnival rides just steps from the Gulf Coast. This historic destination is situated along the Seawall Urban Park, which is considered the longest continuous sidewalk in the country.
The Pleasure Pier offers amusement rides for both young children and adult thrill-seekers, plus midway games, restaurants, shops, and events, including live music and holiday festivities. Ride the Lone Star-themed Texas Star Flyer and look out at the crashing waves from 230 feet in the air. Take the kids on a vintage carousel ride. Enjoy classic fair food like ice cream and funnel cake, and then buy a t-shirt to remember the day.
For RV campers, Galveston is the ideal destination, no matter what the season is. Located just 50 miles from Houston, this Gulf Coast destination delights with warm, sandy beaches, aquatic adventures like stand up paddle-boarding and kayaking, and a quaint downtown area defined by Victorian architecture.
Whether you’re the kind of RV traveler who is looking for outdoor adventures like waterfront bike rides, or if you seek out dining, theater, and shopping, a trip to this surprisingly tropical Texas town will satisfy.
Of course, no one will blame you if you want to spend your whole trip enjoying the rides, classic charm, and views along the Pleasure Pier. Even if you’ve been to a hundred amusement parks before, it’s a memorable destination.
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier Tickets are available online or at the venue. Online tickets are valid for 30 days after purchase and must be either printed out or saved to your phone in order to receive a wristband.
Most visitors opt for an unlimited ride pass, available for approximately $30 for adults over 48 inches tall and around $20 for children under 48 inches tall. Single Ride tickets are usually priced around $6 but require a Walk-On pass about $10. Guests can also choose bundle packages that give you access to the Pleasure Pier and other nearby attractions.
Galveston is a popular destination for snowbirds who like to spend winters on the Gulf Coast. As such, the small beach town is an RV-friendly destination. The Pleasure Pier itself is popular and located along a walkable seawall that sees a lot of foot traffic, so you may experience some vehicle traffic in this touristy area, especially during busy seasons like spring break.
Parking is limited in the area around the Pleasure Pier, so if you’re okay with a short walk, look for parking further inland. There is a paid parking lot across from the Pleasure Pier next to Fish Tales (about $10 per day), plus extra parking nearby. This parking is only for standard-sized vehicles, so if you’re driving in your RV, you may wish to find oversized parking a little further away.
Galveston operates a public bus system and a trolley system. Check the city website for information on routes, hours of service, and schedules. You can also opt for local cab and shuttle services plus rideshare services to access the Pleasure Pier. Other unique Galveston transportation options include pedicabs and bike rentals.
As much fun as it would be to camp in an RV near carnival rides on the seashore, there is, unfortunately, no RV camping at the Pleasure Pier. Don’t worry; you’re not out of luck if you’re hoping to visit Galveston and camp while you’re there. Galveston Island is a great Texas RV destination and as such offers many highly-rated RV parks for travelers.
Galveston is an RV camping paradise, but it can be busy during the spring and summer, so book your campsite in advance. Look for campgrounds where you can walk to the waterfront or busy downtown area, or opt for a more rustic experience where you can spend a few hours birdwatching. Galveston Island State Park, along Seawall Boulevard, gives RVers a place to stay near Pleasure Pier.
If you’re interested in seeing more of Texas, you can stay an hour away in Houston at the Lake Conroe/Houston North KOA. If you have time, travel about 200 miles to the exciting city of Austin, where you’ll find live music, barbecue, and other fun shows and events like Rodeo Austin.
Galveston is a beach town, so get in the island spirit and spend some time walking or bicycling around the area. Once you’re headed to the Pleasure Pier, you can explore the adjoining seawall on foot. This 10-mile long sidewalk by the water is great for walking or riding a bike. Use either method of transportation to access the Pleasure Pier, and then continue exploring the area after you’ve had your fill of amusement park fun.
Pack clothes for a beach vacation where you’ll be spending a lot of time walking around on various surfaces. That means casual, comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes, sandals, and of course, a bathing suit or two. If you are visiting during the warm spring and summer season, think shorts and tank tops. If visiting during the off-season (fall through early spring), pack layers for cooler temperatures.
Pack your usual RV camping gear including cooking fuel, camp chairs, flashlights, and games for around the campsite—plus beach items. Bring extra towels, umbrellas, a cooler, and items such as boogie boards, paddle boards, and bicycles if you have them for places like Jonathan M. Romano Skate Park. If you need to stock up on supplies, most campgrounds have on-site stores. Have cash for the Pleasure Pier, as not all vendors may be able to accept credit cards
Even during the cooler months, Galveston sees lots of sunshine. Stock up on sunscreen before you head to the Pleasure Pier, as buying it on-site may be costly. Make sure everyone you’re traveling with has sunglasses and hats, too. Don’t forget your toiletries, prescriptions, and other medical supplies. Have a little aloe vera lotion with you, just in case anyone forgets to apply sunscreen and gets burnt.
Most RV campgrounds are equipped for outdoor cooking—and who can resist a beachside grilling experience? Check with your campground of choice about any cooking restrictions before stocking up on fuel and firewood. Galveston has many local markets and a few big-name stores for all of your grocery needs.
At the Pleasure Pier, you’ll find typical amusement park fare including pizza, hot dogs, ice cream, and cotton candy. Journey away from the Pleasure Pier, and you’ll find even more options. Thanks to its seaside location, Galveston is known for fresh seafood, but you will also find steakhouses, taco shops, pasta, and more.
The Pleasure Pier is home to many dining and shopping vendors, including quick-serve dining options, sit-down restaurants, and a host of shops with tourists in mind. Whether you’re craving a basket of shrimp or you want to grab a souvenir hat to take home, you will find it at the Pleasure Pier. Vendors may change and may offer different hours based on the season and special events. Always bring cash in case credit card charges are not available.
The Pleasure Pier seeks to create a family-friendly, carefree experience. As such, security staff will be present to ensure that everyone is safe. During special events, you may be subject to additional screenings. There may also be a periodic police presence on-site. The Pleasure Pier is not responsible for any items lost on or off rides due or any thefts that may occur, so keep your purses and bags zipped and with you at all time.
There’s a reason why so many people journey to Galveston from June through August. Summer weather is sunny and offers temperatures in the 80s. If you visit in the spring or fall, you can enjoy slightly cooler temperatures in the high 70s. Winter temperatures can be as low as the upper 40s, which might not always be ideal for visiting the outdoor rides at the Pleasure Pier. Galveston is also subject to rain, thunderstorms, and flooding (Galveston’s downtown district survived a pretty devastating hurricane). Check the forecast before you go. The Pleasure Pier does not offer refunds due to weather-related closures.
If you need medical assistance while visiting the Pleasure Pier, head to the Information Center near the will-call window. The closest hospital is about two miles away. There are also a number of pharmacies in Galveston, plus additional medical services, including more specialized treatment centers and hospitals about an hour away in Houston.